Scientists incorrectly estimated the power of the solar flare and the velocity of the plasma stream ejected from it, which eventually resulted in a strong magnetic storm and auroras visible from atypical regions.
This was reported by the Laboratory of Solar X-ray Astronomy of the Institute for Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics at
Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On November 5, a magnetic storm began on Earth. It turned out to be so strong that it caused aurora borealis that could be observed as far south as Russia.
“It is now clear that both the rate and power of the emissions were completely misjudgedalthough this still does not explain how such a weak cause could produce a storm of the observed level,” the release said.
It is noted that a powerful plasma stream was ejected from the Sun towards the Earth on November 3. It coincided in time with an extremely faint solar flare that could somehow be observed from Earth. Scientists identified the flow precisely with the eruption.
“By all accounts, the emission was considered ordinary. Based on this, as well as the measured velocity of the cloud, the arrival of plasma to Earth was expected…on November 6 and was predicted by all world agencies as weak Magnetic storm from level G1, which is the lowest class,” the laboratory added.
In fact, it turned out that the gas clouds traveled a distance of 150 million kilometers from the Sun to Earth in just two days and ended up hitting Earth’s magnetic field a day earlier than expected and with significantly greater force, the scientists concluded.
According to their estimates, on the morning of November 6 Earth will still be in the solar plasma cloud. The temperature of the interplanetary gas near the Earth increased to 300,000 degrees, that is
approximately 10 times, and the speed of the solar wind increased from 350 to 500 kilometers per second.
“Measurements by the spacecraft that the plasma cloud passed through on its way to Earth showed the presence of its own magnetic field in the plasma, oriented opposite to the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. This can cause a kind of annihilation of the field lines when the field of ejection interacted with the Earth’s field, which most likely further enhanced the impact on the Earth’s magnetosphere,” the scientists explained.
Now the storm is classified as G3 (third grade on a five-point scale). After all, it is not a record even for 2023. On April 23-24 there was a storm that peaked at the G4 level, which had not happened in several years before. The last G5 storm was recorded on September 11, 2005.